Wednesday, 6 May 2009

The saga of the red onion skins continues

Wednesdays is drawing day. All morning I stand and draw. The standing is hard (my back doesn't appreciate the continuous upright and still position. It would be alright if I was walking, but walking and sketching at the same time.......) however, drawing is wonderful. My teacher, Peter, is terrific, if somewhat manic and I've learnt so much even in this short time.
Today was hatching, which is a way of getting tone into a drawing. The setup involved a jacket on a dummy (well, light stand to be perfectly correct) against a window which gave strong tonal contrasts.
Using a felt tip pen, so no errors could be erased, I managed to do a reasonable drawing, learning alot about observation of light, medium and dark tones and learning to start as lightly as possible and building up the drawing. I do tend to be heavy handed which can at times result in very dark drawings.
More practice.
Anyway, this week I also managed to include some more red onion skin dyeing. I've seen a lime green obtained but up to now have failed to obtain anything approaching it. Until now. I used an alum mordant and then put in the red onion skins.
I dyed the silk first and then the wool. For the sake of saving water, I mordanted the silk first then put in onion skins in the same bath and returned the silk. The wool was dyed, in the same water, where I added more red onion skins and alum at the same time. Seemed quite successful to me.
And magically, here is the result. I am very happy, they are beautiful colours.
The interesting thing is the silk dyed so differently than the wool and the variation between the different skeins of wool was also very interesting.
I am going to do one more dye run. I have an approximately 200gm skein, which I will dye and probably put up for sale. These will go into scarves and fingerless mittens.
I'm not sure what I'll do next: brown onion skins or rosemary. What a lovely dilemma to have.

1 comment:

Leonie said...

seen this?